Search for Next UCO President Continues

The Regional University System of Oklahoma is conducting a national search for the 21st president of the University of Central Oklahoma after President Don Betz is set to retire next June.

According to RUSO Executive Director Sheridan McCaffree, the board is developing the advertisement that includes the qualifications for the applicants. They hope to finish it by the end of this week.

“RUSO will advertise widely in numerous higher education publications, including The Chronicle of Higher Education,” McCaffree said. “Applicants will be advised how to apply in the advertisement.”

McCaffree said that an earned doctorate was preferred, as in their previous searches. They are expecting to have candidates from both internally at UCO and externally.

“It will be preferable to apply before the advisory committee meets on December 3, 2018 to screen applications,” McCaffree said. “We expect to have a result in Spring 2019.”

The RUSO Board of Regents Chair Mark Stansberry appointed 19 members for the search advisory committee. The board includes RUSO Board of Regents members, UCO faculty, staff, administrators and students, as well as UCO alumni and members of the community.

“Their role is to help the board manage a productive search process while demonstrating concern for the diversity of interests affected by the search,” McCaffree said. “They will screen applications and recommend candidates to be interviewed by the regents.”

She said that with the diversity of the committee, those members will bring the knowledge of UCO and connect that with the community as a whole, as well as maintain the confidentiality of the search.

UCO Student Association President Dean Remington, a member of the advisory committee, said that they will have their first meeting later this month.

UCO President Don Betz will retire June 30, 2019. Next year will mark Betz’s 49th year of working in higher education.

“I’ve reached a certain age when most people are already retired, and so probably later than most of my colleagues,” Betz said. “[After I retire], I have opportunity spend more time with [my family] and to do some other activities and some travel.”

He said that although he is not a member of the committee, he will assist them with anything he can.

“President Betz has done an outstanding job growing the engagement of UCO’s students, faculty, alumni and donors. His forward thinking, collaborative research and increasing STEM graduates is evidenced with the new Interdisciplinary STEM Teaching and Research Center,”  Stansberry said in a press release. “We anticipate the next president will continue building on this innovation for the future of our students and the state’s workforce.”

The RUSO Board of Regents is the entity that has the sole power to choose the president for the six universities they govern including UCO.

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